Breast cancer research : BCR

Ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme complex Uev1A-Ubc13 promotes breast cancer metastasis through nuclear factor-кB mediated matrix metalloproteinase-1 gene regulation.

PMID 25022892


UEV1A encodes a ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme variant (Ubc13), which is required for Ubc13-catalyzed Lys63-linked polyubiquitination of target proteins and nuclear factor κB (NF-кB) activation. Previous reports have correlated the level of UEV1A expression with tumorigenesis; however, the detailed molecular events leading to tumors particularly breast cancer and metastasis are unclear. This study is to investigate roles of different UEV1 splicing variants, and its close homolog MMS2, in promoting tumorigenesis and metastasis in breast cancer cells. We experimentally manipulated the UEV1 and MMS2 levels in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells and monitored their effects on cell invasion and migration, as well as tumor formation and metastasis in xenograft mice. The underlying molecular mechanisms leading to metastasis were also examined. It was found that overexpression of UEV1A alone, but not UEV1C or MMS2, is sufficient to induce cell invasion in vitro and metastasis in vivo. This process is mediated by NF-κB activation and requires functional Ubc13. Our experimental data establish that among NF-κB target genes, UEV1A-regulated matrix metalloproteinase-1 (MMP1) expression plays a critical role in cell invasion and metastasis. Interestingly, experimental depletion of UEV1 in MDA-MB-231 cells reduces MMP1 expression and prevents tumor formation and metastasis in a xenograft mouse model, while overexpression of MMP1 overrides the metastasis effects in UEV1-depleted cells. These results identify UEV1A as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of metastasic breast cancers.